This review article considers three significant volumes recently published in the field of Southern Asian security studies. These consist of Not War, Not Peace? Motivating Pakistan to Prevent Cross-Border Terrorism, by Toby Dalton and George Perkovich; Sameer Lalwani and Hannah Haegeland (eds.), Investigating Crises: South Asia’s Lessons, Evolving Dynamics, and Trajectories; and Mooed Yusuf, Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments: U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia. In the wake of the 2019 India–Pakistan Pulwama militarized crisis, each book focuses on a distinct element of the Southern Asian security milieu that is crucial to understanding drivers of regional insecurity and potential pathways toward greater stability. However, collectively, they leave room for greater exploration for the effects of emerging trends in this regional strategic competition. These include the evolving regional preferences and actions of China, the potential for Pakistan-based terrorist groups to become independent actors throughout a Southern Asian crisis, and the growing prominence of precision-strike standoff weapons in the strategic planning of China, India, and Pakistan. Still, these three volumes prove indispensable for understanding the contemporary political and security dynamics of Southern Asia.
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